Patrick Chamoiseau

BookPatrick Chamoiseau

Patrick Chamoiseau

Recovering Memory

Contemporary French and Francophone Cultures, 8

2007

April 1st, 2007

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This timely new book skilfully examines the work of the award-winning writer Patrick Chamoiseau. Considered by many as one of the most innovative writers to hit the French literary scene in over 40 years, Chamoiseau made his name with his book Texaco (published in 1992 and winner of the highest literary prize in France, the Prix Goncourt). His books have gone on to sell millions and his work has been translated by a number of academic presses. McCusker sets the author in context, providing a valuable contribution to ‘memory studies’ by looking at literary representation of memory in Martinique, a society founded on slavery but now politically assimilated to the metropolitan centre, France.

Now available in paperback, this acclaimed book skilfully examines the work of the award-winning writer Patrick Chamoiseau. Considered by many as one of the most innovative writers to hit the French literary scene in over 40 years, Chamoiseau made his name with his book Texaco (published in 1992 and winner of the highest literary prize in France, the Prix Goncourt). His books have gone on to sell millions and his work has been translated by a number of academic presses. McCusker sets the author in context, providing a valuable contribution to ‘memory studies’ by looking at literary representation of memory in Martinique, a society founded on slavery but now politically assimilated to the metropolitan centre, France.

[This is a study infused with] a highly topical freshness and with an intellectual potency that together make of it a particularly welcome contribution to several fields of criticism: not just Caribbean studies, francophone studies, and postcolonial studies, but also trauma studies and cultural studies more widely [...] A lively, sparkling book; it is salted with apt reference and always as stylistically engaging as it is intellectually stimulating.
Mary Gallagher, International Journal of French Studies

An assured and subtle critique [...]. McCusker's pleasure in reading Chamoiseau's sumptuous prose is clear even as she acknowledges its paradoxes, exclusions and, more recently, its stylistic longueurs. Her book, perceptive and stimulating, is another sign that postcolonial studies has matured as a critical platform for the study of literature and its contentious contexts.
Patrick Crowley, French Studies

About The Author

Maeve McCusker is lecturer in French Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. She is currently the French Caribbean editor for The Year’s Work in Modern Languages Studies, and is on the editorial committee of the ASCALF Bulletin. She is secretary of ADEFFI (Association des études françaises et francophones d’Irlande).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page1
Contents5
Introduction9
1: Beginnings: The Enigma of Origin29
2: ‘Une tracée de survie’: Autobiographical Memory55
3: Memory Re-collected: Witnesses and Words84
4: Memory Materialized: Traces of the Past109
5: Flesh Made Word: Traumatic Memory in Biblique des derniers gestes135
Afterword158
Notes165
Bibliography182
Index191